European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the need for fair trade relations and a level playing field with China during the EU summit in Beijing. Acknowledging concerns about market distortions caused by Chinese overcapacity in the clean tech sector, von der Leyen stressed that the EU could not accept further worsening distortions in its market.
China’s trade surplus with the EU reached a historical high of nearly 400 billion euros last year, prompting the EU to launch an investigation into imports of Chinese electric vehicles. Von der Leyen made it clear that “Europe is open for competition, not for a race to the bottom.”
While protecting the EU’s interests, von der Leyen also expressed a commitment to addressing disagreements with China through dialogue. The upcoming EU-China summit on December 7-8 presents an opportunity to discuss and strive for a more ambitious relationship that benefits both sides. The summit follows a recent meeting between U.S President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Although the EU expects China to take action to address current imbalances, von der Leyen believes that the story of their relationship is not yet fully written. She acknowledged that both parties have agency and highlighted China’s capability for change. The EU aims to achieve a mutually beneficial trade relationship with China while maintaining a level playing field and fair competition.
Q: What was the key goal of the EU summit with China in Beijing?
A: The key goal was to achieve a level playing field in trade and address market distortions.
Q: What is one example of market distortions mentioned by von der Leyen?
A: Chinese overcapacity in the clean tech sector, which could worsen and be exported, causing further distortions in the EU market.
Q: What was China’s trade surplus with the EU last year?
A: China’s trade surplus with the EU reached a historical high of nearly 400 billion euros.
Q: What action has the EU taken regarding imports of Chinese electric vehicles?
A: The EU has launched an investigation into imports of Chinese electric vehicles.
Q: What approach does the EU intend to take in addressing disagreements with China?
A: The EU intends to address disagreements through dialogue while protecting its interests.
Q: When is the EU-China summit scheduled to take place?
A: The EU-China summit is scheduled to take place on December 7-8.